Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Don't Create an iPhone App for the Online Buzz Factor

LM Comment: Most important fact is that only 7% of U.S. wireless subscribers use an iPhone. Meaning, probably not a marketing channel that’s ready for prime-time.

December 4, 2009: summarized from AdAge.com -- For all the love that marketers show iPhone apps, these micro-utilities and tools actually generate surprisingly little buzz in return.

A study for Ad Age by PR firm Porter Novelli and its partner Crimson Hexagon looked at a handful of branded iPhone apps that came online this year and found that their launch didn't generate any big spike in the volume of online chatter about the apps. And any uptick in conversation volumes tapered off quickly in the days after the apps' rollout.

And brand perception, as measured by improvements in positive conversations about the brand, barely budged in the months after the apps launched. In effect, these utilities didn't arouse much passion in either direction. The conversations around them were largely neutral, along the lines of: "X brand has an app now."

Of course, the findings also reinforce that apps should not be built simply to goose some short-term brand buzz; rather, they should be a way to deepen engagement or drive revenue. Still, said Joe Russo, Porter Novelli's global research director, he would expect some improvement in brand affinity around the time of an app launch. He suggests part of the problem is that the sea of iPhone apps -- now numbering more than 100,000 -- is swallowing the prospect of building any significant buzz.

"There's so much clutter and just such a flood of apps out there that unless you're really looking for them, or [receive] a pre-announcement that is meaningful to you, you won't even know about it," Mr. Russo said. One could also attribute the lack of pervasive conversations about the apps to that only about 7% of U.S. wireless subscribers use an iPhone.

Read more at http://bit.ly/8J1SZQ

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